Milan is a big city defined by its cosmopolitan culture, from fashion and food to art and old-world relics. The capital of northern Italy’s Lombardy region is known around the world as a fashion destination thanks to luxury brand names such as Gucci and Versace, and is also Italy’s financial centre. The city is one of the largest in Europe, with more than 5 million residents. Many buildings were destroyed in Milan during World War II, but you’ll still find countless beautiful old monuments worthy of a postcard perfect picture.
Milan is known for its rich religious history, and centuries-old churches dot the city streets. Visit the Cathedral of Milan, one of the largest churches in the world. Locals call the cathedral in the heart of the city the Duomo. Stand in the shadow of the cathedral in the Piazza del Duomo, a busy square surrounded by picturesque buildings. Across the square you’ll find da Vinci’s famous painting of The Last Supper housed in the Santa Maria Delle Grazie, a church and convent. Nearby, the Chiesa di San Maurizio is known for its frescoes and houses Milan’s archaeological museum.
If you want art without the religious context, head to the beautiful Villa Reale, home to two of Milan’s best galleries. See famous masterpieces from the 19th and 20th centuries at the Modern Art Museum. The Contemporary Arts Pavilion next door showcases some of the best artists around today. Make the short walk to the Brera Art Gallery to see works by famous Italian painters such as Raphael and Carravagio.
Try rich risottos and pastas, pizza or fresh gelati from restaurants and cafés on nearly every street. Watch world-class opera at the Teatro alla Scala then head to the Navigli nightlife district to drink with locals on terraces along the canal.
Fly to Milan’s international airport or get there by train from many European cities. Navigate the city using the affordable metro and tram systems. Alternatively, do as the locals do and get around on foot to soak up the style of one of Europe’s most fashionable cities.